Internal investigation into former cop Mike Blowers drags on

Former Northland cop Mike Blowers was jailed in December 2015.

Former Northland cop Mike Blowers was jailed in December 2015.

An internal police investigation into the handling of a case involving a former high-ranking officer is still ongoing despite him being jailed more than a year ago.

Former detective sergeant Mike Blowers, who had more than 20 years experience, was in charge of the Northland organised crime unit, which focused mainly on investigating and prosecuting drug crimes. 

During that time, he stole the drugs to supply an informant and in turn received thousands of dollars. 

Despite denying the crimes, he eventually pleaded guilty to one charge of theft of controlled drugs and one of supplying methamphetamine during his 2014 trial. He was jailed for four years, nine months.

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Auckland City Police-based Detective Stuart Allsop-Smith, who led the initial investigation, started an internal review to examine the steps taken by Northland police who knew about Blowers' affair with the informant.

It also included a review of the treatment of another police officer working underneath him who raised concerns, but was instead investigated himself.

Allsop-Smith said he completed the review in May 2015, and made several recommendations which were being reviewed.

"It started out on Blowers and the investigation into Blowers, but then I was obliged to look at other matters in that inquiry that came to my attention," he said.

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"I think in any of these situation where a police officer has become corrupt we should always reflect on how it happened, what the circumstances were, and if there is anything to be learnt from that we should learn from it.

"The public expects us to act with professionalism and integrity amongst other things, and these sorts of inquiries gives us an opportunity to reflect on that and if there are learnings then we should take that on board. The public don't expect police officers don't expect police officers to engage in criminal activity."

Police have remained tight-lipped on the findings of Allsop-Smith's review, but it is understood that recommendations will be put in place at both a district and national level.

A statement released to Fairfax Media on Friday by police employment relationship manager Jennifer Williams said the review was "a complex matter".

"Following completion of an investigation into Mike Blowers, the Northland District Commander instructed a review be undertaken," she said.

"This review was initially carried out by a Detective Inspector. It was then referred to employment relations specialists at Police National Headquarter who in turn are reviewing the matter from an employment law perspective.

"This is a complex matter that dates back a number of years and police want to ensure the review is thorough and accurate before it is finalised."

Williams said that no police employees were under an employment investigation or performance management in relation to the review.

It is expected that the review will be released within the next month.

 - Stuff

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